[ Korea ]

Onui Restaurant— get your fare steamed or roasted

IF you are scouting for a place to spend a quiet, leisurely dinner where you don’t have to race for closing time, try to check out this Korean restaurant named Onui at the Middle Road.
I’ve planned to check out this restaurant hundreds of times before but didn’t just get the chance to do so until last weekend when I woke up hungry from a nap, this after skipping breakfast and lunch and going on a trip around the island under the heat of the sun.

I could see some diners inside when I peered into the glass door but it refused to open when I pushed it. Stepping back, I noticed the handwritten PULL sign taped over the original PUSH sign.
Except for a couple of long tables at the center, the restaurant was set into smaller cubicles, and a larger one with tatame setting where a group of diners seemed to be downing bottle after bottle of Sochu and getting livelier by the minute. The cubicles give diners some sort of privacy. The soft lights
We headed to one cubicle near the rear and a wait staff handed us with one menu, telling us it was their only copy.
I decided to try the roast mackerel for $10 and pushed the menu over to my companion who settled for an order of the familiar—fried chicken.
The wait staff left with our orders and returned a couple of minutes later with a tray containing some appetizers—so typical in Korean restaurants. One dish looked like herbs with carrot strips and sprinkled with red pepper bits that seemed to shout “I’m hot” so I didn’t try it; one was a small platter of marinated cucumbers which I miraculously liked, and another dish of some white strips which tasted like flavored bamboo shoots. I didn’t ask anymore but dug into the appetizers.

It’s half a mackerel vertically sliced and tasted so good you’ll finish it in no time. I recommend you eat it slow and savor it because there is no other side. You get roasted half-a- mackerel served with a cup of purplish rice.
The fried chicken came next which turned out to be hot crispy chicken wings served on a bed of tissue paper to absorb the oil. The chicken did not come with anything at all—no dips or whatnot but you can order the same with Defiyaki sauce from the menu. I could use more flavor like soy sauce marinade with mine chicken slices. Maybe you have to give special instructions to the chef on how spicy or hot or salty you want your chicken to be.

Pushing the metal chopsticks when I had been practicing with no luck on my appetizers, I attacked my dinner with a fork. For me, chicken wings are meant to be eaten with your hands if you want to get the best of it and that’s what we did until the last piece was gone.
Check out the steamed dishes such as angler, pork ribs, and beef ribs, roasted octopus, squid, pork, and small intestines of cow with sausage made of bean curd, and the favorite noodle choices—noodles with sauce, sticky noodles or noodles with assorted mix—have them hot or cold.
I got curious with one item in the menu named “A Rather Hot Seafood Mix Soup” but didn’t have the guts to try it. Be careful with this one. My previous dining experiences with Korean restaurants taught me a lesson the spicy way. When they say hot they mean HOT which means drinking cold water or munching ice cubes or fanning your mouth won’t help, unless you are a regular contender for the hot pepper eating contest..
Most of the food Onui Restaurant serve are from $8 to $25 bracket.

Onui Restaurant is located across from Docomo Office at Middle Road. They are open from 4:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. Only cash is accepted. For inquiries and reservations, please call 233-0022.
This was first published HERE

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